COVID Live Updates: US hospitalizations exceed 100K for first time

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized for the first time, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

States reported 1.4 million tests, 196k cases, and 2,733 deaths. There are 100,226 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. -the first time hospitalizations have exceeded 100,000.

California reported over 20,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, which is the highest daily case count for a state to date.

Wednesday's COVID-19 death count is the second highest on record after May 7th. It is also the first time deaths have exceeded 5,000 in a 2-day period.

The holiday effect is still noticeable as some states are only providing partial data updates.

What to know about coronavirus:
Where to get tested in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
Coronavirus by zip code - New York City
How coronavirus changed the New York region
Do you have coronavirus symptoms?

Here are more of today's headlines:



Gloria Estefan reveals COVID-19 diagnosis
Singer Gloria Estefan announced that she was diagnosed with COVID-19 in a video posted to her Instagram account.



Police find massive crowd partying at rented LI home
Police broke up a massive party at a Long Island home after getting calls about an influx of cars and people, including from the homeowner who had rented out the property and who notified authorities after seeing the crowd on security cameras. Authorities went to the gated estate in Brookhaven, New York, in the early morning hours on Monday and found up to 400 people, a violation of the state's prohibitions on gatherings during the pandemic.

Tradition lives on as NYC Ballet set to stream 'Nutcracker'
The New York City Ballet is taking a holiday tradition digital this year. You can't go see "The Nutcracker" in person, it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but you can stream it on the Marquee TV app. The performance was filmed at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts last December

CDC changes quarantine guidelines
The CDC made a big change to its coronavirus guidelines Wednesday, offering alternatives to its two-week recommended quarantine period for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Henry Walke, COVID-19 Incident Manager at the CDC, told reporters that although the CDC continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, the agency has two new alternatives.

Quarantines can end after 10 days without a COVID-19 test if the individual has not reported any symptoms, or after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test and no reported symptoms, Walke said.

NBA: 48 players positive for coronavirus as testing resumes
The NBA says 48 players have tested positive for the coronavirus since testing resumed last week. The league and National Basketball Players Association said 546 players were tested between Nov. 24-30 in the initial phase of testing after returning to team markets.

Inside NYC's very own Pandemic Response Lab
New York City has a pandemic response lab that is filled with more than 100 researchers, analysts and technologists.

Manhattan public school delays reopening due to positive COVID cases; parents outraged
A school in Manhattan is delaying their reopening due to positive COVID cases, and parents are not happy about it.

Public elementary schools in the city are slated to resume in-person learning on December 7, but not this one. Two students in separate classes tested positive for COVID-19.

Doctor comes out of retirement twice to help during COVID
A doctor from Long Island came out of retirement to help at the start of the COVID pandemic to help those in need - and now she's doing it again.

Dr. Anne Sacks-Berg is returning to work for the second time after her official retirement from Huntington Hospital a year ago.

CDC director: Expect up to 200,000 more US COVID deaths by February
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that he anticipates the U.S. coronavirus death toll to increase by another 150,000 to 200,000 by February 2021.

That would bring the death toll to at least 422,000 Americans -- nearly a half a million lives lost due to the pandemic.

NYC Half Canceled
The New York Road Runners announced Wednesday that the 2021 United Airlines NYC Half is canceled due to health and safety concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The cancellation marks the second consecutive year the United Airlines NYC Half has been canceled. This year's event, which had been scheduled for March 15, 2020, was canceled at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The race, which takes place annually in March, is one of the world's largest half marathons.

Who, when and how? A look at the UK's COVID-19 vaccination rollout
British regulators have become the first to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech for experimental use. Because trials of the vaccine have shown that it has 95% efficacy, there is acute interest in how the U.K. plans to implement its biggest immunization program in decades. Here's a look at what is known about Britain's vaccination plan.

WWII veteran, COVID survivor released from hospital for 104th birthday
A World War II veteran from Alabama left the hospital this week after being treated for COVID-19. Major Wooten, who turned 104 years old on Wednesday, served in the U.S. Army for several years overseas. He built railroads and worked on rail cars in Paris in the 1940s. Wooten was released from Madison Hospital on Tuesday afternoon where he was met with a parade of nurses, doctors and loved ones cheering him on and singing happy birthday.

Cuomo announces COVID vaccine delivery date for New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a date on when the first COVID vaccine doses will be delivered to New York. On Wednesday, Cuomo said the state will receive the vaccine from Pfizer on December 15 if all safety and efficacy approvals are granted. The doses will be enough for 170,000 New Yorkers. NY state expects additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine by the end of this month.

Mayor de Blasio to parents: Send kids to school or face all-remote switch
Mayor Bill de Blasio is telling New York City parents that if their child doesn't show up to school next week, they'll be moved to remote-only learning. He says that too many students are "holding" seats by being signed up for in-person learning and then attending remotely at home.

"We need the kids in school or signed up for in-person learning, and any family that signed up for in-person learning and does not actually intend for their child to be in school, we respect that, we want you then to be placed into the all-remote education approach, so we can free up seats," Mayor de Blasio said.

'Assume you became infected' with COVID after Thanksgiving gatherings: White House task force report
The White House Coronavirus Task Force is issuing its most urgent warning, advising that older adults avoid unmasked indoor gatherings and others assume they were infected after Thanksgiving celebrations, according to a report obtained this week by ABC News. The report, sent to state governors and dated Nov. 29, said that everyone over the age of 65 or with significant health conditions "should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked." It also said that all Americans under 40 should "assume you became infected" if Thanksgiving gatherings involved anyone outside of their immediate families.

Hackensack closing city offices to public amid statewide surge in COVID-19 cases
Hackensack is closing City Hall and shuttering all city offices to the public beginning next week amid growing concerns of the statewide resurgence of the coronavirus. The news comes after New Jersey reported a dramatic spike in deaths, with 90 reported Monday after just 15 on Sunday. As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to spike, a new drive-thru coronavirus testing site opened on the campus of Bergen County Community College to provide another option for residents.

Staten Island bar that declared itself 'autonomous zone' shut down, GM arrested
Sheriff's deputies are taking extraordinary measures in an ongoing battle with the owners of a Staten Island bar. Mac's Public House on Lincoln Avenue still has its windows plastered with signs calling it an "autonomous zone," but now the sheriff's office is in control. Crowds shouted at deputies as they led the restaurant's general manager out in handcuffs. Danny Presti was arrested after repeated warnings to stop serving customers indoors. Wednesday morning, the attorney representing Mac's Public House told Eyewitness News the charges included disorderly conduct along with civil fines.

New Yorkers opting for bicycles over subways, buses, DOT finds
More New Yorkers ditched subways and buses and opted for bikes than ever before due to the pandemic, according to the newest data from the city Department of Transportation. The DOT shows four East River bridges had a 21% increase of cyclists between July and October compared to the same period last year. October saw the biggest gains in biking with a 30% increase.

McConnell says he's sticking with scaled-back COVID-19 relief bill
Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said he's largely sticking with a partisan, scaled-back COVID-19 relief bill that has already failed twice this fall, even as Democratic leaders and a bipartisan group of moderates offered concessions in hopes of passing pandemic aid before Congress adjourns for the year. The Kentucky Republican made the announcement Tuesday after President-elect Joe Biden called upon lawmakers to pass a down payment relief bill now with more to come next year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resumed talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about a year-end spending package that could include COVID-19 relief provisions. Key Senate moderates rallied behind a scaled-back framework. It's unclear whether the flurry of activity will lead to progress. Time is running out on Congress' lame-duck session and Donald Trump's presidency, many Republicans won't even acknowledge that Trump has lost the election and good faith between the two parties remains in short supply.

UK authorizes Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for emergency use
British officials authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Wednesday, greenlighting the world's first shot against the virus that's backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic. The go-ahead for the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech comes as the virus surges again in the United States and Europe, putting pressure on hospitals and morgues in some places and forcing new rounds of restrictions that have devastated economies. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which licenses drugs in the U.K., recommended the vaccine could be used after it reviewed the results of clinical trials that showed the vaccine was 95% effective overall - and that it also offered significant protection for older people, among those most at risk of dying from the disease. But the vaccine remains experimental while final testing is done.

US adviser hopes for Pfizer approval by Dec. 10
A leader of the Trump administration's effort to produce and distribute a coronavirus vaccine says he expects the Food and Drug Administration to soon authorize the use of a vaccine. Operation Warp Speed chief science adviser Moncef Slaoui says he hopes by Dec. 10 or 11, a Pfizer vaccine is approved in the U.S. Slaoui told ABC's "Good Morning America" he "would expect the FDA to reach a similar conclusion" as British authorities did by approving emergency use of a vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech.

Nassau County reports 4.2 percent, pauses real estate assessments
Nassau County is now reporting a COVID positivity rate of 4.2 percent, County Executive Laura Curran said Wednesday, a number that has increased but is still below the state average. She said 274 people are currently hospitalized in the county with COVID-related symptoms. In an effort to ease the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic on property owners, Curran announced a pause in property assessment valuation updates for the coming year.

Starbucks giving free coffee to frontline responders, military members in December
Starbucks is giving back to frontline workers for the important work being done in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The coffee giant is offering a free tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) to frontline responders, also characterized as "essential employees," at participating U.S. Starbucks stores in December. The promotion is in response to the recent rise in cases and hospitalizations. The company said it has given more than 2 million free cups of coffee to frontline workers this year and its foundation has donated more than $1 million in support of frontline responders since March.

Want to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree? There are changes in place this year
There are new changes in place if you want to check out the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this holiday season. Additionally, don't expect a long visit. There's a five-minute viewing limit. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is traditionally one of the city's most popular holiday attractions that draws huge crowds. The 2020/21 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree viewing guidelines, approved by New York State and New York City, will follow social distancing and capacity control protocols. The guidelines were released on Monday morning.

Know your NYC COVID Zone
You can find your COVID zone at NYC.gov/covidzone.



MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE


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New CDC guidelines on masks
How coronavirus changed the New York region

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